A Stellar Week Marred By Incredibly Unfortunate Events

Good afternoon, I hope you are well, let's get into this week's blog.

This week started incredibly badly with the news that TopGear star Sabine Schmitz had passed away at the age of 51 from Cancer. Just days after Murray Walker had passed the previous week, this could not have come at a worse time.

May she and Murray Rest In Peace and stay in our hearts and memories forever.

Wednesday 17th March, 2021

The 17th March was a completely empty day in my 2020-2021 Academic Calendar and with the chaos of Tuesday been and gone, I decided to do Week 1 of the GT3 Challenge Series - the same series I had done during Week 13, this time iRating and Safety rating being affected.

I'd qualify 9th on the grid after what I felt was a very strong, quick and competitive lap.

Come the rolling start, I'd hang bag a few car lengths so that I wasn't "underneath the rear wing" of the car ahead...and oh boy did this pay off....

The launch (which reminded me of my Karting days) boosted me up three positions into P6 - from here it was about keeping it clean and on the track.

After losing a position (due to the driver behind getting the slip-stream on the long straight) I was down to P7, but fortunately a the driver ahead of me got caught up with a spinning Ferrari (originally P4) - so by the second lap I was in the Top 5.

P2 on the grid actually started ahead of Pole, giving him a stop-and-go penalty and me an additional free position. One more death and I'd be in with a shot at the podium.

The inevitable happened on Lap 3. Whilst I stuck to my lines and braking points, P3 & P4 battled hard, P3 soon missing braking point, spinning and taking the driver behind out with him.

I had a dilemma though - It was only Lap 4 and I was in the podium positions - I had a long way to go...and undoubtedly faster cars behind me...but I continued to do as I had done - sticking to my lines and braking points, not pushing to open up the gap further from 4th.

Over half-way into the race (Lap 6/Lap 7) a small concern of mine began to grow - I began to see headlights off behind me in the distance...lap by lap these grew closer and closer and lap by lap I wondered where the White Flag was.

On Lap 8 this became all the more important...the leader had just binned it into the wall (not badly, but enough for me to pass) I was now sitting in P2 with P3 breathing down my neck...I had to keep it together for just three more Laps!

The Audi behind closed the gap down quicker than I had expected...less than a second approaching the final corners of Lap 8.

Across the start/finish line, just as he was approaching...he disconnected - the luckiest disconnect (for me) in my whole career. The driver behind was the old leader and was a "comfortable" distance back - this would not be a cruise to the finish - but I had no reason to stress.

I'd manage to keep it out of the race and finish the race with a remarkable 0x (0 Incidents) and 23 seconds behind the leader. P4 finished 5 seconds behind me.

After a bit of cheering and yelling, I'd leave the session (after saving the replay) and have a look at the iRating and Safety rating I'd gain out of it - I'd now be at 1.1K again - my 7th all-time highest iRating (3rd highest of the 2021 Season).

Both EES (European Endurance Series) and VRS GT Endurance Series is this weekend so hopefully I'll have some gains there as well.

With that, I wrap this blog up - thanks for reading and I'll see you next time!


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